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While teething can be uncomfortable for your baby, Affinity Health, a leading provider of high-quality healthcare, says there are ways to make your baby’s teething experience more bearable.


“Teething occurs when your baby’s teeth protrude through the gum line. It’s also known as odontiasis,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.


“Every baby is different when it comes to teething. However, your baby will likely get their first tooth during their first year.”

When Do Babies Begin To Teeth?

Some babies begin teething before the age of four months, while others start after the age of twelve months. However, most babies begin teething around the age of six months.


Symptoms Of Teething

Baby teeth can sometimes emerge without any pain or discomfort. At times, however, teething can cause your baby to be irritable and uncomfortable.


Signs that your baby is teething include:

  • Sore and red gums where the tooth is coming through
  • A mild temperature (less than 38 degrees Celsius)
  • Flushed cheeks
  • A rash on their face
  • Rubbing their ears
  • Dribbling more than usual
  • Gnawing and chewing on things more than usual
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability

“Teething can be painful, but it rarely causes babies to become ill,” adds Hewlett. 


“If your baby has diarrhoea, vomiting, body rashes, a higher fever, or cough and congestion, contact your doctor. These are not typical teething symptoms. You should also contact a paediatrician if your baby’s gums are bleeding or if you notice any pus or swelling on their face. What is the order of appearance of baby teeth?”

The Order Milk Teeth Appear

The following is a rough guide to how babies’ teeth typically emerge:


Bottom incisors (bottom front teeth): These teeth are usually the first to appear at around five to seven months. 

Top incisors (top front teeth): These appear around six to eight months. 

Lateral incisors (either side of the top front teeth): These appear around nine to 11 months. 

Bottom lateral incisors (either side of the bottom front teeth): These appear around 10 to 12 months. 

First molars (back teeth): The majority of children will have all of their back molars by the age of two or three.


When and how teeth appear varies from baby to baby and may be influenced by family history. Eventually, 20 milk teeth will emerge.

8 Ways To Calm a Teething Baby

What soothes one baby might not work for another, so you might need to try different things to make your child feel better.


  1. Bananas, apples, and carrots can be frozen and gnawed on by your teething baby for pain relief and a tasty treat. To avoid choking hazards, crush the food and place it in a baby-safe mesh feeder once the teeth have emerged.


  1. Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory that soothes the nerve endings in the gums, which helps to relieve teething pain. Rub a slice of peeled ginger over your baby’s gums for two or three minutes for the best results.


  1. Cloves contain oils that are warming and numbing. Combine ground cloves with water, coconut oil, or unsalted butter to make a paste that can be rubbed on the gums.


  1. Allow your baby to chew on a damp washcloth for a cool, numbing sensation. To add some interest, tie one end of the cloth in a knot before freezing it, or soak it in chamomile tea instead of water.


  1. Because they are nearly bite-proof, firm rubber and unfinished wooden teething rings are ideal for older teethers. Avoid liquid-filled teethers because they can break under pressure. And, of course, make sure that the ones you buy are BPA-free.


  1. Chill a metal spoon in the refrigerator for a few hours and give it to your baby to suck on.


  1. Use your index finger to rub and massage your infant’s gums gently. Allow them to gnaw on your big knuckle if you’re brave (and they don’t have too many teeth).


  1. Rub your baby’s face, jaw, and gums in a circular motion several times daily. This treatment may be ineffective in some babies but may be effective in others.

A Word On Teething Necklaces 

You may have heard that heated amber teething necklaces release a pain reliever. That has not been proven, and doctors advise against using one.


“Teething necklaces, in general, are not recommended by paediatricians,” says Hewlett.


“They’re dangerous because they have the potential to strangle your baby. They can also choke if the necklace breaks and the beads are swallowed.”


If you do decide to use one, make sure that you:


  • Put it on the baby’s wrist or ankle, not around their neck.
  • Always keep an eye on your child while they are wearing it.
  • Take it away whenever you are not watching your baby, even for a short period.

About Affinity Health

Affinity Health is South Africa’s leading provider of health insurance, offering you a range of options at affordable rates including access to the widest national provider network. We understand the importance of having medical insurance that meets your needs, your budget, and your lifestyle. Our range of healthcare products are designed to protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service at all times. For more information, follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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